Zahid Laeeq, an Urdu poet and the Chief Editor/Publisher of Canada based monthly magazine Shahpara, died in Islamabad on 31 October 2008 due to a heart attack.
He was 56 years old, and lived in Port Coquitlam with his family.
Shahpara was Laeeq’s passion that had begun within a year of his arrival in Canada in 2000. He published this magazine in Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi and English for the last eight years where no such literary-cultural magazine existed in BC Lower Mainland.
Surjeet Kalsey, a Punjabi Poet, fiction writer and dramatist who was working with Zahid on Sahapara, says: ‘Zahid Laeeq was basically a fine and sensitive mystic poet of Urdu and won hearts of his audiences by singing in his golden voice. His poetry, mostly gazals, sound romantic but they are dedicated to a higher spirit. He himself was a carefree, kind and mystic ‘darwesh’ who touched the hearts of many wherever he went and wherever he read his poetry. On his untimely demise, most people who are familiar with his poetry and his mysticism are shedding tears over this sudden separation.’
Zahid Laeeq’s Urdu poetry is published in three books – ‘Ziaey Hira’ and ‘Akas-e-Barmala’ in Shahmukhi, and ‘Aaks-e-Barmala’ in Gurmukhi.
The transliteration from Shahmukhi to Gurmukhi is done by Surjeet Kalsey and Daljeet Kalyanpuri. The book in Gurmukhi was published in Pakistan, and was released last year in Surrey in ‘Jashney Zahid’ where MLA Dave Hayer presented Zahid Laeeq, Surjeet Kalsey and Daljeet Kalyanpuri certificates of congratulation on behalf of the Provincial Government for their contributions to Urdu and Punjabi literature in Canada.
Representatives of International Multilingual Shahpara Publications, Kendri Punjabi Lekhak Sabha (North America), Indo-Canadian Seniors Centre Society, and Canadian Punjabi Cultural Association BC gathered together in Surrey to pay homage to Zahid Laeeq, and decided to dedicate to him the following:
A Special Issue on Zahid Laeeq
Shahpara International Magazine will publish the next issue (Nov-Dec 2008) as Special Zahid Laeeq issue. Zahid’s friends, readers and associate are invited to provide materials, photos and memories for it by November 15th.
Kendri Punjabi Lekhak Sabha (North America) Meeting
The Kendri writers meeting on 8 November 2008 will be dedicated to the memory of Zahid Laeeq.
Indo-Canadian Seniors Centre Society (Surrey) Mushaira
The monthly ‘Mushaira’ Poetry Fest on 30 November 2008, will be dedicated to the memory of Zahid Laeeq.
For more information and for contributing to these events please contact:
Editor Multilingual Shahpara International
Vice-President Kendri Punjabi Lekhak Sabha (North America)
Nirmal Singh Nannar
Indo-Canadian Seniors Society Surrey
President Canadian Punjabi Cultural Association, BC